AMD quad-core Opteron servers claim performance records

The return of AMD to any kind of dominant position in the CPU market depends on its ability to be perceived by systems analysis personnel as the performance leader. Today, the company obtained some much-needed ammunition in that battle.

The question prospective customers have been asking recently about AMD is whether its reticence to produce a 3.0 GHz+ quad-core CPU will hurt it, not only in head-to-head matchups against Intel Xeon but with respect to its perception as a potential performance champion. Today, AMD claimed leading scores among turned in by three separate x86-based servers, all of them HP ProLiant models.

Today, BetaNews confirmed that the Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation has officially recorded scores from a four-way quad-core HP ProLiant DL585 G5 rack-mounted server, running on Opteron 8356 processors clocked at 2.3 GHz. Granted, this ends up being a 16-core system, which is on the high end of the scale. But a base score on the SPECfp_2006 floating point throughput rate test of 143 and a peak score of 157 is right about where AMD wants to be.

And in the same tests, the HP ProLiant BL685c G5 blade server, running the same Opteron 8356, scored slightly better: 147 for the base score, which represents a performance average, and 161 for the maximum observed (peak) throughput rate.

To get any sense of what that means, you have to make some comparisons. HP had previously submitted test scores for a four-way quad-core ProLiant DL580 G5, which is a rack-mounted server that runs on 2.93 GHz Intel Xeon X7350 processors. On the same test, the Intel-based DL580 scored a 106 base rate, and a peak rate of 116.

BetaNews today located an Opteron 8356 quad-core processor selling for $1,649, and an Intel Xeon X7350 selling for $2,389.

In two-way quad-core configurations, an HP ProLiant DL385 G5 running 2.3 GHz Opteron 2356 processors also posted a leading score: an 81.1 base score and an 89.3 peak score. A similarly-configured rack-mount ProLiant DL380 G5 running 3.16 GHz Intel Xeon X5460 processors scored a 70.1 base and a 78.2 peak.

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